Enrolling in college classes for the first time can be a really exciting time. For many first time students, it means you’re moving out to live on your own for the first time. There are a lot of things you prepare yourself for when you get ready for the start of your first semester of college. You stock your pantry with ramen and cereal, you order all of your textbooks, and contact your new roommates. A lot of preparation goes into starting school. But, like with anything in life, there are always a few things you forget to plan for.
Weight loss in college, especially in the first year, is really common. There is definitely some truth behind “the freshman fifteen”. There are a few different factors that contribute to this weight loss, but the most important one is the quality of your diet. You’ve probably spent your entire life living at home, where your parents cooked you balanced meals and made sure you drank enough water. This is something you take for granted until you move out and find yourself living off of Little Caesar five dollar pizza and fruit loops. Eating this sort of thing really starts to take a toll on your body after a few weeks. You can eat junk a few times and not have it affect your weight, but if you substitute all of your real vegetables for veggie straws, you’ll begin to see the effect it has on your body.
The biggest key to staying fit and a healthy weight in college is to watch what you eat. If you’ll be on campus over lunch, pack a sandwich or salad in your bag so you won’t be tempted to eat at the food court. Make an effort to go to the grocery store every week, and create a meal plan that utilizes produce and lean proteins, and not very much starch. There’s a common misconception that eating healthy is incredibly expensive, which isn’t always true. Produce is generally relatively inexpensive. As long as you plan out your meals, as well, you’ll find that you’ll spend less money on groceries every single week than if you just go to the grocery store and pick up everything that looks good or you think you may need.
Of course, eating healthy isn’t the only thing you should be doing to stay fit and healthy. It’s about 60% of the battle. Exercise is super important for staying fit. Even spending just half an hour a day five days of the week, which is a relatively small commitment, will do quite a lot to keep you fit and healthy. You should spend a small amount of your workout doing cardio, to keep your heartrate up and your muscles warm. Weight training or HIIT(High Intensity Interval Training) is a great way to spend the rest of your workout. This will target specific muscle groups and help you tone and keep the weight off.
If you find that you have a hard time staying motivated, or you lose energy too quickly during a workout, try using a pre-workout supplement. It will give you an energy boost that will help you get through your workout and optimize your time. Always follow your workout with a post workout, which is generally a protein supplement. This aids in repairing the muscles and provides them the protein they need to get stronger and bigger. A pre and post workout regimen is a great way to improve your workouts.
Alternative ways to exercise
Sometimes, fitting an exercise routine into your schedule is hard, especially if you find yourself with an abnormally large load of classes in a semester. A great way to fit in your exercise on the days you don’t make it to the gym, is by either walking or biking to your classes/work. During the cold months this can be a hard commitment to make, so make sure that you and protect your bike to prevent rust and keep it performing all year long.